What the Critics are Saying

Alexithymia by Author Bob Christian Reviewed by Realistic Poetry International

Author Bob Christian’s book, “Alexithymia,” the second published work of poetry we have had the opportunity of reading and reviewing, is a collection that represents the Author’s reflective state of mind surrounding a plethora of themes, concerns, and topics such as planet earth and our environment (18 Minutes), humanity and the remarkable power of words (Sticks & Stones), dreams and ambition (Visions; Impossible Dream), and helpful, constructive advice to assist others through life’s inevitable ups and downs (Stop).

A brief yet thorough collection, Author Bob Christian’s genuinely empathetic, bold, and harmonizing aura is nearly impossible to escape while reading the poems in this book, as he demonstrates a sincere and compassionate heart for humanity in addition to admitting the truth of all our differences, focusing greatly on who we are on the inside rather than our mortal external shell.

To amplify this thought, in one poem, “Grand Leveller,” Christian says;

“It’s not rich or poor, black or white. It’s the universal constant that binds us. The sooner we

realise this truth, the sooner we become true human beings.”

Views such as this are enlightening, and in a certain sense, tear down many barriers and walls that naturally cause division, separation, and in some cases, inequality, amongst us occupants of earth such as vices like racism, sexism, and/or other forms and types of discrimination.

A humble mind aged with experience and wisdom, we absolutely appreciate and respect this Author’s courage to be honest and imperfect throughout the poems in this edition, freely capable of admitting personal truth’s such as his blurry recollection of his time and days spent as a student in class saying,

“I had learnt nothing useful like how to file taxes, or fill in application forms, or balance finances, or buy a home (Eyes Down).”

Regardless of whether one personally agrees or not, the Author’s testimony is compelling and speaks for a multitude of individuals who may feel similar about their own experience in the school setting.

With the mention of student loans, college seems to be the Author’s center focus in this particular poem – essentially challenging the popular ideology of school being useful or beneficial to one’s future to the point where he says;

“Looking back at my time spent Sat up straight, with eyes down. The lessons I was taught back then, In all honesty, I’ve forgotten.”

Aware and discerning, Christian also takes time to focus on the importance of friendship in his poem entitled, “Friendship,” reminding us to understand and consider the value of a friend just as much as you do the unseen or ‘unfound’ value in a total stranger, supporting his view with the explanation that:

“a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met. There’s more to life than where you are now.”

By this one line, alone, it is easy to see with our own eyes Author Bob Christian’s open and unbiased perspective, slightly atypical from some of the more reserved and traditional points of views of our world where judgement has no limits.

In addition to this, the poem offers advice from a realistic angle, respectfully cautioning us to beware of those who only call themselves a friend yet continuously hinder or attempt to weigh you down, which many can probably relate to in many different circumstances!

We enjoy reflective poems that convey wistful and sentimental accounts of past memories such as “Same Old Story” and “Tempera-Mental,” which use his own personal testimonies and experiences to compare an innocent child’s thoughts to a mature and experienced man (himself), who, since childhood, has come to understand the darkness of life saying,

“The darkness that resides inside

My soul; that long list of times… (Tempera-Mental)”

And, the inevitability of disappointment saying;

“When I was younger, I thought I wanted to be just like you.

Then I saw the truth, and gave up.

With this collection of poems including a steady mixture of emotionally-based poems focusing on self-esteem, confidence, choices, and mentality, plus other poems such as, “Wage Slave” and “Log Off,” which address social and political issues/trends, readers will have a great assortment of poems to transition between while reading, making it a diverse and well-rounded collection!

Bold, honest, and real, Author Bob Christian is one to tell it like it is and this book mirrors his brave heart, perfectly! And though some of his words may come off as a bit rigorous or severe, it is evident through his words and poetry just how much he truly cares about life, family, love, and people.

With this, we are glad to present this book with a 4-star rating and truly believe it is an expressively personal account to inform, inspire, and elevate.

Recharge the Soul

This weekend has been a very relaxing one in the Bob household. It was desperately needed after doing eight (very long) days straight at work. I literally had no plans as I just needed to unwind big time. This is mainly because with my job I have to “people” quite intensely for up to eleven hours a day. This can cause me to become really physically and mentally exhausted at points, due to the amount of effort it takes to work and socialise with customers, while staying focused on the job at hand.

So, I decided after a late night at work on Friday to have a lie in on Saturday morning. Well, that was the plan – it’s just a shame that Dog (our cat) didn’t get the memo and decided to wake us up at 2.15am and again at 5am, to announce that he had proudly brought us a gift. So I got up and did the usual small animal corpse removal, told him he’s a good boy through tired gritted teeth and tried to get back to sleep. I managed to sleep till about half eight, which is better than nothing I guess.

After our morning coffee, I decided I wanted to head up to Newton to trade in some computer games that I’d either completed or got bored with. This gave Mrs Bob and me a chance to do our own things in the town. She’s not a fan of game shops (long story) and I’m not a fan of looking around market food stalls, so we both win. We came home with a small haul, and decided to have a relaxing afternoon with a film. Mrs Bob chose, as I chose last time, with Clerks 2, so we watched Peggy Sue Got Married. It’s not my type of film, but I said I’d give it a go as Mrs Bob loves it, and it wasn’t actually that bad. After that, I caught up on some writing for my new project and played some computer games. The evening was spent watching The Goldbergs (we are on Season 3) and catching up on my podcast-listening while enjoying a nice hot bath.

On Sunday, Dog decided repeat his Fierce Hunter thing, except this time, it was a small piece of cloth he’d obviously “killed” outside and Mrs Bob found it when she got up to see what he was miaowing about. We had a relaxing morning in bed watching a new Ghost Adventures, a favourite show of ours, before getting up and going to our favourite beach, Broadsands, for a walk along the front. Even though the weather was very blowy and cold it didn’t matter as I was with my wife, and when we’re there, the rest of the world could cease to exist and I wouldn’t notice. If your phone was flat you’d find a plug socket to recharge it. When I’m drained I just need the sea or a river and Mrs Bob to totally recharge my soul.

After a great day together and a wonderful Sunday roast, we did what we do every Sunday evening, and video-called my eldest daughter, Mini Bob, and my granddaughter to catch up with her and see what’s new in their lives. Every time we talk to her, I’m reminded of how grown-up she’s become. She’s got her own place and is back at college working hard, all while raising a very cute (in my opinion) little baby on her own. We are so proud of her.

After this weekend, I feel refreshed, recharged and ready to face what the next week has to throw at me. So come on world, bring it ooooooonnnnnnn…………..

Stay Safe X